Covid-19 Update

COVID-19 Update - Version 5, Updated 02/04/2020

Following recent government restrictions on the housing market, we continue to review how we can best serve all our customers at this time. As the landscape changes and evolves almost daily, we will continue to post updates on our website, through our social profiles and directly to customers via email. Our local teams will also be in touch with customers most affected by any government changes to discuss all options to help keep you moving.

As the days pass and the restriction on movement becomes more challenging we urge you all to stay safe, follow government instructions and limit any unnecessary pressure on the NHS.
Keep sending us any questions or comments via email, alternatively please see our recently updated FAQs below:

FAQs

For added peace of mind, we thought we’d put together some FAQs which might help to answer your queries or concerns at this difficult time.

Conveyancing FAQs

  • We are aware of all imminent completions, and we will have been in touch with you to discuss your options. We are still exchanging and completing cases, and minimising the risks by completing on the same day as we exchange. We will discuss these risks with you. If you think your case is nearly ready to exchange and complete, please keep in regular contact with your property lawyer, as we will be working for you.   Please keep your personal and removal arrangements under constant review. 

  • We are quite used to dealing with simultaneous exchanges and completions but it does require the co-operation of all parties involved in the transaction and there are risks.

    • It will be necessary for you to make all the practical arrangements in advance of the proposed completion date, some of which could incur costs in advance even though until contracts have been exchanged, you cannot be certain that the transaction will actually take place. 
    • All parties involved, particularly in a chain of transactions, will have to make the same preparations and if anyone of them cannot make those arrangements in time, or their own circumstances change, the arrangement may collapse at the last minute.
    • If a proposed simultaneous exchange of contracts and completion is not successfully achieved, then all the preparations would have to be repeated in time for an alternative date and you would inevitably incur additional costs (e.g. removals cancellation fee, interest payable on your new mortgage funds ordered in advance, etc.).
  • Although we cannot make decisions for you, we will let you know the possible options and the risks of those options. Then you can consider what would be best for you and the chain of transactions in which you may be involved.  These are extraordinary times, but we are here to support you in your move in any way we can.   

  • Once you have exchanged contracts, you are contractually bound to complete your sale or purchase on the agreed completion date.  If you are unable to do so, whatever the reason, you will be in breach of contract. This has always been the case, irrespective of the Coronavirus implications. 

    The implications of this can range from payment of interest under the contract for late completion, loss of the 10% deposit paid on a purchase or refund of the deposit paid on a sale, and other reasonable costs that flow from the breach of contract.  In a long chain, this could include significant costs being passed on to the defaulting party, or having to chain break and find temporary accommodation to enable a sale to go through to avoid a breach of contract. 

    We are contacting our customers who have already exchanged with a completion date beyond 31st March to discuss their options. If you have not been contacted and you think, you can no longer complete, contact your Property Lawyer.

  • In common with other Law firms, we are operating at a reduced capacity and remotely. You can contact us by e-mail, and the auto-response will direct you to respond to a mailbox which will be monitored. We do ask for your patience as we try to manage the unique challenges posed by Coronavirus in the best interests of everyone. Our priority right now is imminent exchanges and completions. This will inevitably affect our usual service levels for cases that have no realistic possibility of completing during the lockdown period. We are also aware that mortgage lenders are drastically reducing their ability to service requests, and an increasing number of Law firms have told us of temporary closure or reduced staffing levels, all of which will have an impact on how much we are able to do.
    During these are uncertain times, we wanted to reassure you that the health and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and communities remain the utmost importance to us. This is just a temporary pause, and we look forward to resuming our normal service as quickly as we can.

Surveying FAQs

  • Many customers may have the same concerns and lenders will be experiencing high call volumes. If you have used a broker they may be able to guide you through this process or speak with your lender to ask about what happens next.

  • We can only act on the instructions received from your bank or building society if you have a chat with them they’ll let you know what will happen with your application.

  • The government advice is to avoid all non-essential travel and to work from home.

  • We can’t be sure of that just now. But, as soon as we can, we’ll get surveys booked in. We hope, as a nation, this virus risk will pass as quickly as possible. We’ll continue to follow the Government advice and act as and when that changes.

  • We have people on hand to assist our customers. Please contact us at surveying.insight@countrywide.co.uk and we will be able to help you.

  • We’re standing by to help all homebuyers with their purchase decision. Please contact us to register your interest and we’ll contact you just as soon as we can to take your instructions. Please email us at mstqueries@cwsurveyors.co.uk

  • One of our team will have contacted you and you will have instructed us either to place the survey on hold until we are able to inspect the property or you will have cancelled the instruction. If your circumstances change contact us at surveying.insight@countrywide.co.uk

  • A survey helps you make an informed decision about the condition of the property. Without this knowledge, you may experience problems with the property when you move in. Or there could be defects which could be costly to put right.  

Financial Services FAQs